Fitness Career Open House


Are you looking for a career in Fitness? We would like to invite you to stop in and learn more about working with us! FFC Union Station is hosting a Fitness Career Open House on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 4-8 pm.

Fitness Formula Clubs has nine locations throughout Chicago and Oak Park, and will be opening a 10th club in Park Ridge next fall. We also manage four clubs. With more than 1,000 employees (and growing!), FFC is great place to start or continue your career!

Our Fitness teams will be conducting interviews, meet and greets, and tours of the club that evening. It will be a great way to get your foot in the door! Please invite fitness industry family and friends to come along. This event is open to anyone interested in becoming a Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor or Fitness Specialist. If you’re not certified, don’t worry, we have programs for that.

To apply for our openings, please visit For more information, contact


Year of Wellness is Back!


November kicks off our Third Annual Year of Wellness (YOW) Contest! Entrees will be accepted beginning November 15 at Nominate yourself or a friend, non-members welcome, to win one year’s worth of health and wellness, complete with personal training, Pilates training, nutrition consulting, massages, Ortanic tans, and more! This year’s prize package, with additional goods and services from our sponsors will be valued at $15,000.

FFC’s first YOW winner, Quinetta Taylor, entered the contest after already starting her journey to weight loss. As someone suffering from chronic kidney disease, she was too overweight to be eligible for the Illinois state transplant list. At the end of her year, she had lost 120 pounds, and was placed on the list. She approaches fitness and nutrition with vigor, and is a champion for organ transplant education. Her kidney should be coming any day.

Last year’s winner, Dawn LaFleur, was nominated by her daughter after losing 100 pounds through nutrition alone. Now she understands the benefits of fitness for a well-balanced approach to overall health and well-being. Dawn and Quinetta have become friends and can often be found working out together.

To enter, visit on November 15 to submit your story.  On Monday, Dec. 15, all accepted nominees will be posted and you can begin collecting votes by sharing your story. Tell everyone you know to vote for you or your nominated friend. The top five most voted-for entrants will then go on to be decided upon by a panel of judges made up of our sponsors. The 2015 Year of Wellness winner will be announced in early January. Good Luck!


The Gift of Giving


Beginning Thursday, Nov. 6 and ending Wednesday, Dec. 24 – purchase $100 in FFC Gift Cards and receive a $25 bonus gift card*! Gift Cards are good toward any FFC product or service, but may not be applied to FFC membership dues. Purchase your gift card at the Club or online.
*Maximum 3 bonus cards per person. Restrictions apply.


On Being Grateful


Calling All Athletes
Improve your athletic performance, posture, form, range of motion and more with therapeutic massage. FFC therapists specialize in Sports, Deep Tissue and Myofascial techniques. Save $10 off a 60- or 90-minute Sports or Deep Tissue massage in November!
*May not be combined with other offers. Other restrictions may apply.

Invest in Yourself
Purchase a $100 FFC Spa gift card and get $25 to use on yourself. You deserve it!

Veteran’s Appreciation
We thank all active and veteran military for for your service. Present your valid Military ID and receive 25% off any spa services. Offer valid through Sunday, Nov. 30*.
*May not be combined with other offers. Other restrictions may apply.

For more information, visit the Front Desk or book Spa services online here.

On Being Grateful

Before long, we’ll find ourselves scurrying around the grocery aisles fighting for the last cans of cranberry sauce and picking through sad heaps of herbs and spices for homemade stuffing. Then, of course, there’s the inevitable waiting “forever” on line while flipping through OK! Magazine for the 30 minutes it takes to get up to the clerk because “some lady” took “Extreme Couponing” to a whole. ‘nother. level.

But hold on for just one second. Before the complaining begins and the stress of hosting the in-laws takes over, maybe just take a short pause to remember what you’re thankful for.

It can be tough to do, yes. Too often, we’re so caught up in the grind of our day-to-day, and the annoyance that is our job, our spouse, the wind, etc, that it’s hard to find gratitude for anything at all. Need some help? Breathe in, and picture the things that enrich your life. If you’re still coming up short, here are a few of the random things I am grateful for. Maybe one or two might resonate for you:

Mom & Dad, Sister & Brother. Yeah, I know it seems like the obvious choice. But how often do we take family for granted? I’ve always been very close with my zany and wonderful parents and siblings and as an adult, like many, I now appreciate them even more. Last year when my mom was diagnosed with Leukemia (she was victorious!), the hugs got a little tighter, the calls more frequent, and the laughter much, much louder and from a deeper place. We relish our time together and I can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving with them.

Wine. OK, it’s out there. I like my wine. Like a trusted friend, my Cabernet (or maybe a Meritage tonight?) is there for me in good times and in marginal times. She (yes my wine is a girl) warms my soul, enhances my dreams, and for a fair price, she’ll takes my cares away. We’re close, me and my wine, but don’t worry, we’re not so close that I’ll be writing my next blog from Shady Wines – Home For Winos. ;-)

My Dog. Suzy (“The Noodle)” has blessed our lives in so many ways since the day we took her home from the shelter 3 years ago. Every day she makes me laugh with just a little look or turn of her head to the sound of the word “treat” and the way she flutters her paws in synch when I dare to stop petting her. She’s got living down-pat; eating, sleeping, running, getting massaged. The only job she has is as my canine alarm-clock and she never fails to deliver.

My Legs. Maybe it sounds weird to you, but I’m pretty thankful to have these two imperfect limbs that walk and run me all around this city, through airports, to friends’ outings, to the beach, and on my many travels. If you’ve ever had a leg or foot injury, or perhaps something even more debilitating, you know what I mean about the freedom of doing it on your own without any devices.

My iPod. When I was little, my Dad would play Peter Tosh, Stevie Wonder, or The Who at an alarmingly loud volume for a Sunday morning. Just to get us out of bed. By the time I turned 10, I had adopted his habit (payback’s are a you-know-what), and not only was I playing several instruments, but learned how to get my music volume up to an 11! Rock n Roll, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Indie, Classical, any genre save Country (sorry folks), and I’m captivated by the sounds and nuances of the notes and how they band together to form a tune. Nowadays If I leave the house forgetting my iPod and/or headphones, a rush of anxiety spills over me. How will I get through this work (interchangeable with: run/flight/ride/project/cooking/nap, etc)? Can’t function without the iPod. No sir.

This list not relevant to you? Not surprising….it’s mine! Why not go and make your own list, even if you don’t actually write it down. Taking the time for this exercise in gratitude may be the stress-break you need to see just how much good there is in the world.

Happy November!

Guest blog courtesy of Lisa Ellis, Regional Spa and Retail Manager. Email Lisa at


Autumn Glow


The leaves are turning orange… but your skin should not! Get a perfect, custom, autumn glow with Ortanic! For a limited time only: Two custom airbrush tans + one bronzer or extender for just $100 (reg. $136)*.
*Offer valid through Nov 30! May not be combined with other promotions or discounts. Non-transferable and may not be shared.

Call or visit your favorite Ortanic location for more information or book your appointment now.


We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” That’s never been more true than it is today. With the chemicals found in and amount of processing of many shelf foods, our bodies’ organs are at risk for crisis. Skin is the body’s largest organ, so it is imperative to keep it as healthy as possible. Remember, you excrete toxins through your skin, so if you put non nutritious foods in your belly, when you sweat they come out only to sit directly on your skin!

Here are some yummy foods that do a great job of protecting skin from premature aging and promoting a healthy glow from the inside out.

Green Tea - Green Tea is filled with the amazing antioxidant EGCG, which provides protection from the sun’s damaging rays. Whether you apply it directly to the skin or drink a nice cup of tea, its antioxidants work to prevent DNA damage and help repair existing damage. Drinking green tea is also hydrating, one of the most important factors for healthy, glowing skin.

Yogurt - Yogurt is a great source for vitamin A, which is very important for maintaining vibrant skin. Vitamin A helps the body produce collagen, which is responsible for your skin’s elasticity.

Salmon - Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect your skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. Wild salmon contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin that helps fight wrinkles and sagging.

Kiwi - Kiwi is one of the most potent sources of vitamin C. It is essential for maintaining connective tissue. Kiwi, papaya and guava are all excellent sources of collagen producing vitamin C. Eating one kiwi a day can improve your skin over time.

Dark Chocolate - Surprise! Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. There is a myth that chocolate causes adolescent acne. Not true! When eaten in moderation, the flavonols in dark chocolate not only protects the heart and blood vessels, but also protects the skin from sun damage. When applied directly to the skin, natural cocoa butter is an excellent emollient that helps preserve the skin’s moisture and elasticity.

It’s never too soon, or too late, to start eating well!  Try incorporating a few, or all, of these foods into your diet and see how incredible your skin will look. Then stop into Ortanic and we’ll give your healthy skin a healthy glow!

Blog courtesy of Kat Maj, Ortanic Coordinator. Contact Kat at



How Sweet it Is


Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Health Benefits

As it starts getting colder, and we exchange our bathing suits and sundresses for sweaters and winter coats, it’s easy to put on a few pounds to stay warm. This autumn, plan to maintain your weight while consuming delicious fall produce, and do it on a somewhat of a budget. During the autumn months, sweet potatoes are growing abundantly, meaning they might be less expensive than usual.

This fall, get your fill of sweet potatoes by baking them whole for a healthy dinner side dish, or thinly slice, drizzle with olive oil and spices, and bake them to make healthy homemade potato chips or fries. You can also dice them to increase the nutrient quality of any dish, so add them to soup, chili or breakfast casserole regularly.

Why are sweet potatoes so beneficial to our health? For starters, their deep orange color means they contain large amounts of beta-carotene, an antioxidant, which the body converts into Vitamin A, an essential nutrient. And the nutritional perks don’t stop there!

Vitamin A: Beta-carotene is naturally converted to vitamin A in our bodies, which supports our vision, bone and tooth growth, and immunity. Vitamin A also contributes to healthy, bright skin. Cook sweet potatoes with a little bit of unsaturated fat, such as one teaspoon of olive oil, to better absorb this fat-soluble nutrient.

Vitamin C: This vitamin helps break down the foods we eat, as well as supports nerve cell maintenance and immunity.

Fiber: The high content of fiber in sweet potatoes (six grams per medium potato) helps regulate our digestive tract and blood sugar levels. Adults need 25-35 grams of fiber per day to maintain these health benefits.

Not only are sweet potatoes delicious, but also tremendously good for you. Be sure to add this nutrition-packed vegetable to your next dinner or Thanksgiving celebration to gain these sweet health benefits!

Contact Amy Silver, RD, with any questions or for recipe ideas.


Thanksgiving Hours


Wednesday, November 26th

  • All clubs close at 8 pm

Thursday, November 27th

  • East Lakeview, Gold Coast, Halsted Street, Lincoln Park, Oak Park, South Loop, West Loop: 7 am – 2 pm:
  • Old Town, Union Station: Closed

Friday, November 28th

  • All clubs: 7 am – 6 pm

Saturday, November 29th

  • All clubs resume regular hours
Winter running - Young woman running outdoors on a cold winter day

All Things Running

Winter running - Young woman running outdoors on a cold winter day

There’s a lot, so make sure to scroll all the way through!

Winter RunMonster

Getting motivated to run outside in subarctic temperatures can be tough… but not with friends by your side! Sign up for the 18-week winter training program geared to get you ready for spring’s destination races, including the Los Angeles Marathon March 15.

You will participate in weekly indoor interval track workouts at FFC Gold Coast, Thursdays, 6:30-7:30 pm, and weekly outdoor long runs meeting at FFC South Loop, Sundays, 8 am. In addition to these two weekly runs, one weekly HIIT class at FFC Lincoln Park’s Performance Training Center is included. Those who sign up can also look forward to nutritional sessions with our registered dietitians, select race discounts and an FFC winter cap.

The 18-week RunMonster winter training program starts Monday, Nov. 10. Email Coaches Chris or Cassidy at for more information.

100 Days. 100 miles

Take the winter running challenge and and win great prizes! Increased running frequency can improve your performance, not to mention your mood, in the dreary winter months. Whether you run on your own, or as a member of FFC’s RunMonster or TriMonster Endurance groups, sign up, log your miles and earn incentives to keep you motivated! From 100 miles to 100 runs in 105 days, hit the pavement (or treadmill) and watch your fitness increase as the pounds do the opposite!


Have you recently completed a marathon or major running event?  Wondering what to do next?  As you recover from the amazing feeling of your achievement, take in a few tips from your FFC Endurance Running Marathon Coaches. Having completed more than 250 marathons combined, they have learned a thing or two about bouncing back from a marathon. So read up and enjoy some fantastic tips that will help you avoid feeling like this, or especially this.

    1. HYDRATE
      Hydrating after your marathon is just as important as before and during the race. Continue hydrating two to three days days after you cross the finish line with a greater volume of electrolyte-rich drinks, like coconut water and fruit smoothies, to help your muscles relax and recover. Your metabolism will be elevated for days following a race, and you need to match this with elevated hydration. Make improving your daily hydration a year-round habit to avoid cramping up once you return to a regular running routine, too!
      Keep moving early and often. If you have a job that involves sitting down for extended periods of time, as many of us do, take frequent breaks and walk around your workplace to stay loose. If you have to sit for extended amounts of time, be sure to massage your leg muscles while you sit, and dorsiflex (point toes up) your feet and ankles while sitting to stretch out your calves!
      Eat whole food. Reward yourself with treats for a day or two, but then shift to rewarding yourself with some high quality foods. Make sure you have substantial amounts of protein (ideally lean, like chicken and fish), quality carbs and some healthy fats ( a.k.a. put guacamole or avocado on everything!). Your muscles will need to rebuild for several days, and with proper nutrition you may be stronger in a few weeks than you have ever been. Always aim for nutrient dense, electrolyte heavy, antioxidant rich foods to help your body return to a proper recovered state. Need more nutrition tips? Consider joining FFC’s Nutrition Solutions program!
      The best way to recover quickly is to engage in low impact exercise this week. Walk the long way from home/work/the train, do a yoga or Pilates mat class you’ve always wanted to try, hit the FFC pool (whether to swim laps or do a water jog) or join a spin class (keep the intensity low, cadence high, and hydrate well before, during and after!). Cycling is one of the greatest ways to increase bloodflow to the same muscles you used while running without the impact, so long, easy bike rides with low resistance and a high cadence are a fantastic way to bounce back quickly! Find a new yoga, Pilates, and Spin classes at Fitness Formula by visiting
      Foam roll as a form of self-massage and do light stretching, and/or get a massage at the FFC Spa (if you show your race bib, you even get a discount!). Just be careful not to abuse yourself too hard as your muscles repair – use the softer white foam rollers instead of the hard black ones.
    6. RICE
      Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. Treat your body post-marathon like you’d treat yourself post-injury and give yourself proper rest. Ice your joints or take a cool bath (aim for 10 minutes or less at 50-60 degrees). Elevate your legs on the couch. Wear compression socks or sleeves at night or when traveling, and you’ll wake up feeling much better. Compression is a proven recovery method, so embrace it (even if it’s not a great fashion accessory)!
      If you recently completed a major milestone, jot down some notes to remember the day. While the images and emotions are fresh, write them down in a race report. Even if you never share them, you may be thankful years from now when you want to remember the day, and photos just don’t do the day justice. You can also learn from both success and failure, so record what you did right or wrong with your nutrition, pacing and gear, and record any data from heart rate monitors – you’ll be able to use all of this to run your next race stronger and smarter! Facebook is a great tool for this but also consider websites like or to aid you in finding a place to write down your race reports.
      If you raised money for charity, or had friends or family supporting you to your milestone, be sure to thank your donors and support team. Share photos on your favorite social media channels, and even ask for more final donations to support the great cause you ran for. It’s never too late to thank others, and the upcoming holidays are the perfect time! Consider giving thanks with an FFC gift card this holiday season and motivate your supporters to join you in training for your next endurance challenge!
      After a few days off, plan your return to running – but start gradually!  “So when can I start running at 100% again?” you may ask yourself. The standard response is one day per mile raced, but that is not a golden rule for all. For first timers, you may want to be more conservative, particularly if you have any nagging pains. Veterans have more experience, and can listen to their bodies to know the right time and right intensity level.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Either way, don’t start back up with intense “race-pace” efforts of 6+ miles. Start from scratch with two to three mile runs that are two to three minutes per mile slower than your race pace for the first week before gradually ramping back up. Plan a gradual “Return to Running” program of no more than three-mile runs at minutes per mile slower than usual the first week, and each subsequent week add one mile and erase one minute per mile from your pace until you return to your normal pace. Use this opportunity to educate yourself to run smarter, not harder. You can even revamp your running form with technique instruction, guidance and coaching from FFC’s Endurance Running Coaches throughout the fall and winter by attending the FFC Running Club’s weekly RunMonster indoor track workout at FFC Gold Coast every Thursday at 6:30pm. Visit or contact for more information.
      Once you have recovered for at least three weeks, consider taking advantage of your newfound fitness level by testing your legs with a shorter distance race like a fall or winter 5k. Avoid falling off your training routine or hitting post-race blues by signing up today! This will keep you motivated for the future, whether weeks or months away. Pick a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot or Winter Fun Run. It doesn’t even need to be a serious event or attempt at a personal best, just pick something fun to look forward to!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         After signing up, consider getting back on track with a steady training routine. If you need motivation and encouragement, consider social group training programs like FFC’s TriMonster Endurance Training Club, whether it’s the next season of FFC’s Winter RunMonster or a TriMonster triathlon training program. Maybe even consider learning to swim and train for the upcoming FFC Indoor Triathlon and Duathlon Series!

Use these 10 tips to recover smart and stay motivated, and you’ll soon be on your way to achieving your next great fitness milestone!

Blog courtesy of Chris Navin and Caeser Kinnier.

Coach Chris is Head Endurance Coach of Fitness Formula Clubs, a 10-time Ironman, and a Level II Certified Coach for USA Triathlon.  Chris is also a sub 3:30 marathoner with 19 marathons including 7 Chicago marathons under his belt.  You can follow Coach Chris’ and FFC’s endurance training club online at and

Coach Caeser is a 3-time Ironman and 46-time marathoner. He is a Head Running Coach for Fitness Formula Clubs and TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) and a Marathon Maniac, completing upward of 13 marathons in less than one year!

More Post-Marathon Tips:

T2 Informational Sessions

Join T2 for two Q&A sessions to learn more about the team and run training opportunities!

  • Monday, Nov. 10: 4:30pm-5:30pm at FFC Union Station
  • Wednesday, Nov. 12: 5:30pm-6:00pm at FFC South Loop

For more information, contact Coach Cassidy at



FREE Injury Screenings


Do you have an injury that pops up now and again, or a persistent pain that won’t go away? Stop by one of Fitness Formula Clubs’ following locations for a complimentary injury screening, courtesy of NovaCare.

Tuesday, Nov. 4: West Loop 5:30-7 pm
Wednesday, Nov. 12: Lincoln Park 10 am-12 pm
Wednesday, Nov. 12: Old Town 5:30-7 pm
Monday, Nov. 17: Halsted Street 5:30-7 pm
Wednesday, Nov. 19: East Lakeview 5:30-7 pm
Thursday, Nov. 20: Union Station 11 am-1 pm
Thursday, Nov. 20: South Loop 5:30-7 pm


Fit Fido


As another Midwest winter looms, threatening to cut walks short and turn Fido’s poor feet into frozen little pawsicles, finding ways to keep your pooch active can be tough. That’s why we’ve partnered with K9 University, Chicago’s daycare, boarding and activity center, for a fun fitness event that is not to be missed!

Sunday, Nov. 16, 12-2 pm*, members and non-members are invited to K9 University for off-leash and agility play, Doga (dog yoga), canine massage, veterinary expertise, natural dog food samples, vegetarian people food treats and more!
*Interested humans without their own means of transportation will meet at either FFC Halsted Street, South Loop or Old Town at 11:30 am. K9U will provide vans for the dogs.

All dogs MUST be registered in advance with up-to-date vaccinations provided from your veterinarian. No drop-ins allowed. Register by Saturday, Nov. 15. Limited space available.


Pool Closing


FFC East Lakeview’s pool will be closed Saturday, Nov. 15 – Sunday, Nov. 23 for cleaning and additional repairs. All Aquatics programs, including HydroFit, Aqua Zumba, Hydro Pilates and Swimming lessons, will be cancelled. FFC East Lakeview members are welcome to use the pools at Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, West Loop, Union Station or Oak Park during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause as we work to improve our facility to better meet the needs of our members. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this pool closure, please contact the General Manager, Jason Hammers, at



Healthy Eating Seminar


Nothing makes us crave comfort food quite like cold weather. You just want to curl up in front of the fireplace (or heater) wrapped in a blanket and nosh on naughty delights, like mac ‘n cheese and hot chocolate. Join Carla, RD, Monday, Nov. 24, 6-7 pm, for a Winter Healthy Eating “Survival Guide” to give you options to stay on track. Contact Carla for more information at



Welcome New Staff!


Brandon Lipske – Member Services Representative
Justin Boulden – Personal Trainer
Kristin Hadleberg – Pilates Trainer
Angle McNeil – Housekeeper
Alyx Martin – Front Desk & Kids’ Club
Sam Schmidt – Front Desk
Stephan Scalabrino – Front Desk


SCUBA Diving


Are you for SCUBA?!

Have you ever dreamed of swimming alongside the beautiful, exotic aquatic life in the crystal blue waters of the continental coasts (or anywhere, for that matter)? Dive into your deepest adventurous desires and get SCUBA certified!

Guaranteed to provide the utmost safety and success of your dive training experience, Fitness Formula Clubs and Captain Darrick Lorenzen’s Divemax Scuba Schools, rated Number One SCUBA training agency in the Midwest, organize and guide fundamental dive training during various sessions throughout the year.

All individuals considering enrollment must attend a complimentary orientation*, then complete your basic skills course**.

*Orientation from 6-7:30 pm

  • Halsted Street: Tuesday, Nov. 4
  • Union Station: Wednesday, Nov. 5
  • Lincoln Park: Thursday, Nov. 6
  • Oak Park: Tuesday, Nov. 11

**Basic Skills Course from 7:30 am – 4 pm

  • Union Station: Sunday, Nov. 9
  • Oak Park: Sunday, Nov. 16

For more information, or to confirm your attendance at the free orientation, please contact Captain Darrick at 773-732-8972 or Special scheduling can be accommodated. Additional fees apply for open water dives and equipment. Non-members welcome!


Signature Specials


Treatments so good we put our Signature on them*!

  • Signature Facial – For all skin types. Includes “magic globes” massage & back treatment (80 Mins)
  • Signature Massage – Customized restorative massage with aromatherapy. Perfect for athletes & those seeking healing therapy (75 Mins)
  • Vitality Treatment – Detoxifying, warming and exfoliating. Excellent for sore muscles & tired joints (90 Mins)

*This month save 10% on any of these FFC exclusives. These offers may not be combined with other discounts, packages or specials. Offer Expires 10/31/14.



Ask your spa provider or customer service specialist about special discounts for pre-race preparation and post-race recovery, including:

  • Bring in your valid 2014 race bib or registration and receive massage discounts including: $5 off a 30 minute, $10 off 60 minute and $15 off 90 minute.


Massage Therapy & Skin Care are essential components to your body’s overall well-being. Join us in celebrating Spa Wellness week by taking advantage of one, or all, of these special offers*:

October 19 – 24

Sunday         $10 off 90-Minute Massage
Monday        30-Minute Massage or Facial for $40
Tuesday        60-Minute Massage or Facial for $68
Wednesday  20% Off All Waxing
Thursday      20-Minute Massage Tune-Up for $30
Friday           Glow Facial Treatment for $88

*These offers may not be combined with other discounts, packages or specials

Game?  What game?

I gave up a long time ago trying to figure out why football was named as such when hardly anyone’s feet ever intentionally touch the ball, but that’s a different blog post.

Disclaimer: Now would be a good time to bow out of this if you just can’t survive without the NFL!

Strange as it may seem, there are actual, real people who couldn’t care less about watching a football game on a Sunday. Or on any day for that matter. For a moment let’s pretend that I’m one of those people, or that you’re one of those people, or perhaps you’re one of those people who knows other people who would rather be doing just about anything else but watch the “big game.” What on Earth would we do with our four hours if not plant ourselves on the sofa yelling “Did we forget how to tackle?” or “Come on Cutler!” or “Where’s the Defense?!” or “This is an embarrassment!!”

Just for good measure (not that you’d ever let it slip amongst a herd of Bears fans) here’s a few ideas:

Get your grocery shopping on. Once game-time begins, your favorite Mariano’s store may have been wiped clean of Doritos and PBR, but the aisles will be devoid of people. So grab a glass of wine and enjoy a lineless, hassle free dance around the produce or International Foods sections. If the weather’s right, skip the store and go to Logan Square Farmers Market.

Go to a movie. Grab a friend, or better yet go solo. Indulging in a movie sans company elicits a feeling of liberation hard to describe: No one talking to you, asking you to explain the plot or hogging your popcorn.  This fall, check out one of these sure-fire Oscar contenders:  Gone Girl, Wild, Birdman, Boyhood and Skeleton Twins.

One word: Oktoberfest. The good news is that while there’s only one word to describe it, there will be numerous Oktoberfest events in Chicagoland. Have a pint just for the ale of it. There’s something for all palettes:  pumpkin, harvest, red or brown ales are very popular this time of year. How about a toast with a Goose Island Harvest Ale?

Have a Spa Day.  Right, so I’m biased here, but what better time to escape for a great, warm, therapeutic spa treatment than a cool, late afternoon in October? Indulge in the FFC Signature Massage & Facial and you’re guaranteed to see and feel immediate results. Sip a cup of our Ikaati Tea on your way out and you’ll arrive home ready to tackle any post-game hype.

Look at the leaves. While you can’t actually see them changing right in front of your eyes, viewing the vibrant colors of autumn leaves can be quite a mood elevator. Sound boring?  Do it on a bike ride along the lakefront path, go for a drive north to the Botanical Gardens, or continue on to Wisconsin for a change of scenery.

Go to the Beach. There won’t be any volleyball or eye-candy in bathing suits, and you may need a jacket, but the fall is an amazing time to hit the beach. Head there with a chair, a book and a hot chocolate. Even better, head to Montrose Dog Beach and watch the canines frolic!

Get outta Dodge. There are some truly idyllic settings that feel very un-city like that are just a hop, skip, and a short drive or train ride away. Take a run, a brisk walk or do some cycling at one of these sweet spots:  The Illinois Prairie Path, The Desplaines River Trail or the Busse Woods Trail.

Brunch it is.  Enjoy Brunch on your own or with other football-indifferent. Try one of these awesome spots:  Lula Cafe in Logan Square, Bite Café or Nana Organic, and avoid the waits on days when the game is on!

Help others. How about spending a few hours volunteering at a shelter, community garden, nursing home, or even doing a project for an aging parent or grandparent? These days it’s easy to whittle away hours doing things like posting on Facebook and Instagram, and watching re-runs of HIMYM, yet few people reach out to lend a hand to their neighbors. Find opportunities to do just that at:

Be a tourist for a day. Have you been to the Bean lately? Did you know about the awesome Magritte exhibit at the Art Institute? When was the last time you went kayaking on the Chicago River? There are zillions of things to do in this awesome city that don’t involve a couch or a remote. Get out there and enjoy!

Blog courtesy of Lisa Ellis, Regional Spa and Retail Manager. Contact Lisa at


All Things Marathon!


Race day is rapidly approaching! Are you ready?!

Volunteers Needed!

FFC will have two cheering stations during the 2014 Chicago Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014.

  • Cheering Station #1 – Division and LaSalle, in front of FFC Old Town. The station will be staffed from 7-11am. We will need volunteers to set up the station at 6 am.
  • Cheering Station #2 – Addison and Pine Grove, just down the street from FFC East Lakeview. The station will be staffed from 8 am-Noon. We will need volunteers to set up the station at 7 am.

All volunteers will receive a t-shirt, help FFC staff hand out water and have fun! Click here to register.

Athletes’ Village

On Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, the Chicago Marathon will celebrate its 37th annual running. FFC South Loop is hosting the Athletes’ Village for members, their families and friends. The club will open at 5 am for gear check, and exercise equipment will be available for warm-ups. As race time nears, our very own TriMonster Coaches will escort the runners to the start. Along the route, friends and family are encouraged to visit or volunteers at our cheering stations, where we’ll be handing out water bottles to athletes as they pass near other FFC locations across Chicago. To volunteer, please register at .

After the race, come back for a celebration party including food, drink, post-race stretching by our FFC Personal Trainers and mini massages! Runners can even use the bathroom facilities to shower after the race. The FFC South Loop Athletes’ Village is located at 1151 S. State Street and parking is FREE for the first two hours with validation. Space is limited. If you plan to attend, you must reserve your spot and register today.

Spa Perks

The Spa at FFC offers exclusive specials for competitive athletes!  Bring in your valid 2014 race bib or registration and receive a discount: $5 off 30-minute, $10 off 60-minute and $15 off 90-minute massages.

Top 10 Marathon Race Week Tips from FFC’s RunMonster Coaches

It’s race week!

Can you feel the excitement?  Are you going crazy sitting there in your seat just waiting for race day to arrive???

Hopefully you’re as excited as we are! You might feel a little anxious, nervous, and maybe even a bit under-prepared… that’s totally normal! Even professional athletes and 20-time marathoners feel this way. So take confidence from the training you have completed and realize that race week jitters are completely natural and normal for all of us. Have fun and let this feeling of excitement help you plan for race day!

With your training tapering down, you can still improve your race day experience by focusing on the following tips to make the most of your race week preparation. Here are our top 10 tips for navigating race week!


Get as much sleep as you can leading up to race day. Pre-race nerves will cause you to lose sleep the night before an event, making it even more crucial to ensure you get good sleep in the two or three nights prior to event day! Schedule eating dinner earlier each night and plan for an early bed time by turning your lights down – and don’t watch TV late! Sleep and rest are your #1 priority during race week!


Staying well hydrated with both water and low-calorie electrolyte-rich drinks on the days leading into the marathon will help you reach the start line well hydrated. But don’t overdue it – stick to drinks with the five essential electrolytes:  Sodium, Chloride, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium. Coconut water is a great, healthy option that is popular with marathoners due to high levels of electrolytes.


Don’t eat a huge “carbo-loading” meal the night before the race. Make your final carbo-loading meal your lunch so you have plenty of time to digest, then eat a normal dinner. Carbo-loading to top off your glycogen stores is also best performed two to five days out from your race, and best accomplished when you eat immediately after your last few workouts. So plan your runs this week and try your best to ensure you fuel up with healthy foods after every workout!


Don’t wait until the night before race day. Create a checklist and lay out your gear at least two to four days before your event to ensure you have everything you’ll need on race day, including your race nutrition products!


Make sure you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature plans to deal you. Rain jacket? Sunscreen?  If race morning is cool, but is forecasted to warm up quickly, plan to wear layers, or use the old fashioned trick to keep yourself warm at the starting line – poke three holes in a garbage bag and wear it like a poncho. It’s inexpensive and effective for both rain and cold temperatures!


The day before the race, avoid spending time at packet pickup expos or sightseeing around town.  Kick your feet up and stay off of them as much as possible. Hit the expo on Friday and put your feet up on Saturday. Traveling by public transportation to the expo? Consider taking the free shuttle from the Roosevelt Red line station, located next to FFC South Loop.


Don’t be tempted by what other runners are doing, wearing, eating or talking about. Don’t buy and wear a brand new shirt or socks, and don’t try out a new nutrition product. Stick with what you know works and what you trust from training. Create a race morning checklist and don’t forget the little details like your timing chip/bib, sunscreen, body glide or anti-chafe cream (which works best between every toe, on nipples, the back of heart rate monitor straps, between thighs, inner arms, etc.).


Spend a few minutes each day leading up to the race walking through the big day in your mind, from waking up to returning home. Write down your morning routine and schedule so that you have plenty of extra time to travel, park, walk to the start, warm up, drop off checked gear and go to the bathroom. Planning your morning by writing down a step-by-step schedule will build confidence for a well executed race morning. Then visualize the race itself… holding back those first few miles (don’t get caught up in adrenaline or run hard up the hilly bridges in the first 5k!), smiling and soaking up the atmosphere. Visualize your race day nutrition and hydration plans (what aid stations do you plan to drink water and gatorade at?). And most importantly, visualize crossing that finish line with a smile!


The true challenge was completing the training – where you’ve logged 95% of your miles already!  What brought you to the start line is truly the accomplishment, and crossing the finish line is just the final 5%. A 26.2 mile long victory lap. Take pride and a sense of accomplishment in knowing this so you can fully enjoy the victory lap that is race day!


Smiling, cheering and supporting others will help boost your mood on race day, so don’t forget that you’re doing this for FUN. High five some strangers, soak up the energetic atmosphere and ENJOY THE RUN through one of the world’s greatest marathons!

That’s it. The finish line is getting closer and closer and we wish you great success at the 2014 Chicago Marathon!  Don’t be a stranger on race day either. RSVP and stop by the FFC South Loop Athlete Village as your pre- and post-race meeting spot.  FFC Coaches will help you navigate to the start line and celebrate with fellow members from the FFC Running Club, RunMonster. The post-race party will have burgers, pizza, drinks, snacks, and complimentary massages and stretching from FFC’s personal trainers and the FFC Spa!

GOOD LUCK and we’ll see you on race day. NOW GO RUN THIS TOWN!!!

Blog courtesy of Chris Navin and Cassidy Wall, FFC Marathon Coaches.

Coach Chris is Head Endurance Coach of Fitness Formula Clubs, a 10-time Ironman, and a Level II Certified Coach for USA Triathlon. Chris is also a sub 3:30 marathoner with 18 marathons, including six Chicago fulls, under his belt.

Coach Cassidy is a running coach for the FFC Half and Full Marathon training program, as well as a Top Three Illinois Finishers in the Chicago Marathon last year with a time of 2:49:30. She finished the Boston Marathon 2013 as Top Female Finisher in Illinois and she was an All American athlete ranked 5th in the nation at the Footlocker Nationals. 

For more information on FFC’s Endurance Running programs, please visit or contact


Happy (Healthy) Halloween!


Autumn is a season with a little something for everyone: mild days with crisp nights, the start of football season, corn mazes, apple picking, and, of course, all things back-to-school. Somewhere in there, Halloween takes center stage for many people as the unofficial kick-off to the fast-approaching holiday season.

While Halloween’s sweet treat indulgences are certainly something fun to look forward to, it is important to keep in mind that excess added sugar has been linked to multiple health issues, particularly obesity. This begs the question: What is a health-conscious Halloween enthusiast to do?

We have some tips, tricks and even treats to help you make the most out of your Halloween fun while keeping a healthful eye on what you consume.

Be Creative with Party Snacks – Not everything has to be 100% healthy for a Halloween spread – let’s face it, we all need a piece of candy occasionally – but providing healthy alternatives is a great way to encourage healthy eating and to help avoid over-indulging on candy.

  • BOO-nanas: skewer half of a banana onto a popsicle stick, dip it in orange juice, roll it in shredded coconut, and press on raisins for eyes and mouths. Here is a great tutorial
  • Spooky Apple Dentures: use a small smear of peanut butter to hold together 2 apple wedges and decorate them with mini marshmallows or almonds for teeth
  • Devilish dip and vegetable bones: give a normal crudité platter a Halloween twist by arranging vegetables to look like a skeleton, and maybe even adding carrot fingers to a healthy dip recipe like this

Find Trick-or-Treat Alternatives – For the health-conscious parents looking to shake up their Halloween treats, we have put together a list of healthy, Halloween-inspired treats that can be given away instead of candy:

  • Jack O’Lantern oranges: Simply draw Jack O’Lantern faces onto the outside of oranges, tangerines or even fruit cups to add a little Halloween flair to these healthy snacks
  • Mummy apples: Wrap pieces of non-stick gauze tape around a Granny Smith apple and add edible eyes to make this spooky snack
  • Or, stock up on non-food items     like temporary tattoos, stickers, spider rings, spooky skull erasers, skeleton pencils, and other such items to give away in lieu of the traditional trick-or-treat candy

Indulge (a little) – Go ahead, indulge, but do so in moderation. Have a piece of candy and enjoy it. The main key here is moderation. Indulging a sweet tooth in moderation can help to control the urge to binge eat on all the readily available Halloween candy. But, if you do overindulge this Halloween, remember that all of us at FFC are here to help you work it off!

Blog courtesy of Fitness Formula Club Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Carla Schmitz, MS, RDN, LDN. Contact Carla at


Heartland Alliance Coat Drive


Share Warmth. Donate a Gently Used Coat.

Recycle your gently used warm winter coats and help those in need. Heartland Alliance, the Midwest’s leading anti-poverty organization, is gathering men’s, women’s, boys’ and girls’ winter coats for recently arrived refugees who are receiving resettlement services in Chicago from the Alliance. Please help make their transition to a new life in Chicago a little warmer by donating your warm coats today through Saturday, Oct. 25. See designated receptacles at FFC East Lakeview, Gold Coast, Halsted Street, Lincoln Park and Oak Park to donate. Visit to learn more about this cause.


FREE Injury Screenings


Do you have an injury that pops up now and again, or a persistent pain that won’t go away? Stop by one of Fitness Formula Clubs’ following locations for a complimentary injury screening, courtesy of NovaCare.

Thursday, Oct. 2 – FFC Halsted Street – 5:30-7 pm
Tuesday, Oct. 7 – FFC West Loop – 5:30-7 pm
Wednesday, Oct. 15 – FFC Old Town – 5:30-7 pm
Tuesday, Oct. 21 – FFC East Lakeview – 5:30-7 pm
Thursday, Oct. 23 – FFC Union Station – 11 am – 1 pm
Thursday, Oct. 23 – FFC South Loop – 5:30-7 pm
Wednesday, Oct. 29 – FFC Halsted Street – 5:30-7 pm


New Staff


Welcome Justin Boulden, our newest personal trainer! Justin specializes in Functional Training, High Intensity Interval Training, TRX/Body Weight Training, Weight Loss and Strength Training. Schedule a complimentary 30-minute session by emailing Justin at today!

Welcome Carla Schmitz, MS, RD, LDN, our new Registered Dietitian who will be servicing all of our FFC East Lakeview and Halsted Street members with their nutritional needs! You can contact Carla directly at . Ask her about our new Nutrition Solutions program!


Halloween Blood Drive


Giving blood doesn’t have to suck! On Saturday, Oct. 25 from 10 am – 2 pm, FFC East Lakeview will be hosting a blood drive to benefit the Heartland Blood Center, which serves nearby Thorek and St. Joseph’s Hospitals. Donors will be screened and able to donate on site that day. Besides cookies and other Halloween treats, donors will also receive a coupon for $20 off any regular priced massage and 25% off a single item in the sports shop. Click here to register.


Tan-tober Fest


Keep your summer glow! Add unlimited tanning to your membership for $19.95 per month and get 30% off tanning products* with your purchase. Current unlimited tanning members will get 15% off tanning products*.
*Goggles and lotions




Join us for a spooky fun cardio dance fitness class that has never been this fierce! On Friday, Oct. 31 at 6:30 pm, come dressed in your favorite costume to dance 45 minutes away torching some serious calories to all your favorite pop, rock and hip hop hits. Choreography is inspired by the official music videos and song lyrics. Are you ready to WERQ, Halloween-style?


30 Years and Getting Stronger

30-Years-stronger-best-chicago-club-gymSeptember marks FFC’s 30th birthday! That is an incredible feat that would have been impossible without our members, and we want to thank you! To show you our appreciation, we will be offering complimentary events throughout the month, including fitness and Pilates demos, Spa open houses, nutrition seminars, Krav Maga workshops, free samples, giveaways and more! Check out the the full schedule of events below or visit your home clubs’ calendar for happenings at your specific gym.

In celebration of our 30 years, FFC will launch a new 30-second video every day in September! The videos will feature one of our licensed personal trainers, and a few surprise guests, demonstrating their favorite exercise moves, just for you! Check out our YouTube channel and “like” your favorites on Fitness Formula Clubs’ Facebook page!

Over the past 30 years, Chicago based Fitness Formula Clubs has grown to a network of nine locations. We are proud to serve the Chicagoland community and eager to provide an exceptional value proposition. What better way to celebrate 30 years in Chicago than a baseball game! FFC has partner with the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs to offer our members specially priced tickets, in celebration of Fitness Formula Clubs’ 30th anniversary! Click links below for complete details and to purchase tickets.

Cubs vs. Dodgers: Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:20 pm

White Sox vs.Royals: Thursday, Sept. 25, 7:10 pm


Volunteers Needed!

FFC will have two cheering stations during the 2014 Chicago Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014.

Cheering Station #1 – Division and LaSalle, in front of FFC Old Town. The station will be staffed from 7-11am. We will need volunteers to set up the station at 6 am.
Cheering Station #2 – Addison and Pine Grove, just down the street from FFC East Lakeview. The station will be staffed from 8 am-Noon. We will need volunteers to set up the station at 7 am.

All volunteers will receive a t-shirt, help FFC staff hand out water and have fun! Click here to register.


FFC Community Events



Get a Leg Up in the Park: Every Sunday, 10 am, August – October
Get your fitness on with art and fresh air in South Loop’s Grant Park, located on the northeast corner of State and Roosevelt. Complimentary classes are open to all and benefit Grant Park Conservancy.

Chicago Marathon: Sunday, Oct. 12
Did you get a spot in one of the country’s most sought-after races? Congratulations! Stop by FFC’s TriMonster team on race day for VIP perks, or take advantage of FFC South Loop’s Athletes’ Village for gear check, transportation to the starting line, and a celebrations after! RSVP here (click continue at the bottom of the page). Or join FFC’s TriMonster training team so you never have to run alone!

Make sure to join FFC for the Chamber Live Well Events the week leading up to the Chicago Marathon.  FFC Old Town’s very own Matt Thomas will be hosting the Neighborhood Jog on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:45 am. The jog will begin at the North/Wells Old Town gates or Burton Place plaza.  Come join us!


Congratulations TriMonster Team!


FFC’s TriMonster team collected enough points at the Chicago Triathlon Sunday, Aug. 24 to become the USA Triathlon Division III Club National Champions! This wasn’t just a one-stop win. All triathletes competing as members of the TriMonster team for USAT-sanctioned events throughout the year placed so well and, at times, travelled far, to accumulate enough points to not only win our division, but also to beat any other team in Chicago, including teams twice our size! We couldn’t have done it without you, TriMonsters, so thank you! What a great way to finish out the club season!



FFC Community Events

5-community-events-best-chicago-gymCheck out what’s happening about town!


Get a Leg Up in the Park: First and third Sunday, second and fourth Monday, August – October
Get your fitness on with art and fresh air in South Loop’s Grant Park, located on the northeast corner of State and Roosevelt. Complimentary classes are open to all and benefit Grant Park Conservancy.

Storm the Stadium: Saturday, Sept. 6
Register online and use code FFC10 for a 20% discount at checkout.
It’s the ultimate in water cooler bragging rights! Chicago’s only open-air and, easily, most challenging stair climb: close to triple the number of stairs in the Willis Tower! Survivors from the hit CBS Television reality series captain teams to the finish line. Blaring music spurs on climbers, Rocky-style. Charity Partner Program benefits Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, and Special Olympics. Pictures with “Survivors” and autograph signing following the event.

Oak Park Fit Fest: Saturday, Sept. 6, 9 am – 3 pm
Fitness Formula Clubs and Downtown Oak Park invite you enjoy a full day of fun fitness activities and healthy living ideas for the whole family! There’s something for everyone, including a live DJ, activities for the kids, fitness classes, representation from health care providers, healthy food options and more! Located in the Colt lot across from the club. Contact Jeff Long at with questions or for more information.

Big Shoulders Open Water Swim Classic: Saturday, Sept. 6
Come and cheer on your fellow swimmers as they battle wind and waves at Ohio Street Beach at one of the US’ greatest open-water races! Fitness Formula Clubs and TriMonster are sponsoring the sold-out race, which starts at 8 am, so stop by the tent to say “hi!”

IronMan Wisconsin: Sunday, Sept. 7
Are you taking on the monster of all endurance events – a full Ironman? Good! For! You! Sign up for theIronMan newsletter, select “IronMonsters” as your TriClub via and you will be automatically added to the FFC IronMonster triathlon training club team roster! Enjoy perks like a team tent, team dinners, photo opps and more! For more information visit or contact

TriRock Lake Geneva: Saturday, Sept. 13
If you haven’t already signed up, enter code FFCTRIROCK for $15 off all entries! Then join FFC’s TriMonster team on race day for VIP perks! RSVP here (click continue at the bottom of the first page). Or join FFC’s TriMonster triathlon training team so you never have to train alone!

FabFest: Sunday, Sept. 14
We are so excited to celebrate the 5th anniversary of FabFest, the ultimatehealth and wellness experience on September 14, 2014, at the Westin River North from 10am-3pm. This action packed day offers one-of-a-kind workouts from Chicago’s top studios including FFC, Shred415, Dailey Method, Flybarre, The Barre Code, just to name a few.  World renown yoga instructor, Kathryn Budig, will be part of this year’s fitness lineup! In addition to the high end fitness sessions, FabFest also offers pampering beauty and wellness treatments, as well as empowering breast and ovarian health education. Women across Chicagoland embrace this day to try out the greatest new workouts, get a little pampering, empower themselves and inspire the women they love. Critical to the success of the event, FabFest participants also raise funds to fuel Bright Pink’s life-saving mission. Help support the FFC Team by donating here!

Cubs vs. Dodgers: Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:20 pm
Join us for Fitness Formula Day at Wrigley! The Chicago Cubs and Fitness Formula Clubs have partnered to offer our members specially priced tickets, in celebration of Fitness Formula Clubs’ 30th anniversary!

Field Box OF – $49
Upper Deck Box IF – $46
Upper Deck Box OF – $34
Terrace Reserved IF – $26
Terrace Reserved OF – $20
Upper Deck Reserved IF – $14
Upper Deck Reserved OF – $13
Budweiser Bleachers – $28

Tickets will be available for purchase online two weeks prior to game day at

White Sox vs.Royals: Thursday, Sept. 25, 7:10 pm
The Chicago White Sox and Fitness Formula Clubs have partnered to offer our members specially priced tickets, up to $15 off, in celebration of Fitness Formula Clubs’ 30th anniversary!

Lower Box seats – $25 (Normally $40)
Outfield Reserved seats – $12 (Normally $22)
Bleachers – $10 (Normally $20)
Upper Box – $10 (Normally $15)

In addition to specially priced tickets, we invite all members to take part in a pre-game parade* prior to the game! Come out and take a lap on the field around the warning track and enjoy a night of baseball with your friends!

*Parade passes are limited to the first 1,800 tickets purchased. Please make sure to add the parade passes to your order on the confirmation page after you select your seats. You must be at Gate 1 at 6:15 pm with your parade passes to participate in the parade. Orders will NOT be redeemed at the U.S. Cellular Field ticket windows or the White Sox administrative offices. Click here to order tickets.


Get a Leg Up in the Park: First and third Sunday, second and fourth Monday, August – October
Get your fitness on with art and fresh air in South Loop’s Grant Park, located on the northeast corner of State and Roosevelt. Complimentary classes are open to all and benefit Grant Park Conservancy.

Chicago Marathon: Sunday, Oct. 12
Did you get a spot in one of the country’s most sought-after races? Congratulations! Stop by FFC’s TriMonster team on race day for VIP perks! RSVP here (click continue at the bottom of the page). Or join FFC’s TriMonster training team so you never have to run alone!


FREE Injury Screenings


Do you have an injury that pops up now and again, or a persistent pain that won’t go away? Stop by one of Fitness Formula Clubs’ following locations for a complimentary injury screening, courtesy of NovaCare.

Wednesday, Sept. 3 – Halsted Street: 6-7:30 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 9 – West Loop: 6-7:30 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 10 – Lincoln Park: 5:30-7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 17 – Old Town: 6-7:30 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 23 – East Lakeview: 5:30-7 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 24 – Union Station: 11 am-1:30 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 24 – South Loop: 5:30-7 pm



Muscle Activation Technique


Do you wish to improve joint stability, increase range of motion and enhance overall function and performance, regardless of your age or physical ability? Fitness Formula Clubs offers an exciting and unique system that does just that, by identifying and correcting muscular imbalances, known as Muscle Activation Techniques™ (MAT™).

MAT™ gets to the root of muscle tightness by addressing muscle weakness, which can cause subsequent other muscles to overcompensate to stabilize your joints. Taking this approach helps to restore normal body alignment, thereby improving performance and keeping you more comfortable overall. If you are an athlete, fitness enthusiast or rehabilitation patient who is:

  • Seriously concerned about joint health as you age
  • Hesitant to exercise as hard as you want due to chronic injury and pain
  • Confused about how best to stop joint pain when working out
  • Worried about chronic aches and pains post workout
  • Stiff and inflexible and stretching is not working
  • Tired of nagging injuries preventing your fitness progress…

MAT™ may be the answer to what ails you.

If you experience any of these concerns contact FFC MAT™ Specialist Martin Kimpston at to explore the possibility of adding it into your health and fitness plan.



New Trainers


FFC East Lakeview welcomes new trainers Louie Nissan and Dillon Cassidy!

Louie specializes in Core Training, Flexibility / Stretching, Functional Training, Heart Rate Zone Training, High Intensity Interval Training, Post Rehabilitation, Stability / Balance, TRX/Body Weight Training, and Weight Loss. Contact Louie at

Dillon specializes in TRX/Body Weight Training, Kettlebells, Weight Loss, and Fun!  If you are interested in toning, shaping or defining, contact Lifestyle Coach, Dillon at



What’s New


Cybex Arc Trainer

The Arc Trainer, is scientifically tested to be gentler on your joints and burn 16% more calories than an elliptical.  On the Arc Trainer, the legs travel in a biomechanically correct path of motion. The Arc Trainer is three machines in one.  At the lower incline, the motion is the glide of a cross country skier.  In the mid-range levels, the motion is that of an elliptical.  In the higher inclines, the motion is similar to a stepper or climber.

See your Fitness Specialist for a complimentary demonstration.

Also New in 2014

  • Life Fitness Multi-Jungle - The reconfigured layout provides an additional 40 sq ft of stretching and functional space.
  • Power Plate PRO7 – This vibration training device features multi directional cables with variable resistance to achieve functional training results like never before.
  • Keiser M3 – Improve your ride with this award winning indoor cycle equipped with a computer display to measure cadence, power, heart rate, time, gear, and distance.
  • Pilates Studio Expansion – Along with a bigger space, the Pilates Studio now has a total of (5) Peak Pilates Chairs and (6) Balance Body Studio Reformers with Towers to enhance your workout experience.
  • NovaCare Rehabilitation is now conveniently located on site to quickly address any physical therapy concerns.

Fitness Formula Clubs App


Click here to download the all new Fitness Formula Clubs App now!

Exciting news, the FFC App is up and running. For those of you android users, the app is available on Google Play and for the Apple version visit the App Store.

The FFC APP is very user friendly and intuitive.  Read on if you prefer to learn more before you download.

Main Menu Tile Deck (from left to right and top to bottom):

  • Card – Enter the barcode from your membership card and check in to the club using your phone.
  • FFC Logo – Links directly to
  • Check In – Check in via social media channels and let your friends know you are at the club.
  • Announcements/Notifications – Announcements will scroll through a list of all current promotions, events or happenings at the clubs. Notifications will appear if there are time sensitive issues that we need to let you know about. Once you have read the notification, click on it to return to announcements.
  • My Schedule – Use this feature to get up to date listing of group fitness classes which can be customized using the “Build Your Schedule” feature in the “Schedules” tab of the drop down menu.
  • Book It – Convenient link to book Spa and Ortanic appointments.
  • YouTube – Direct link to the FFC YouTube channel which hosts your favorite trainers’ 30 sec videos!
  • Facebook – Direct link to your clubs’ Facebook page, like and favorite the page for daily updates.
  • Twitter – Direct link to the FFC Twitter account, become a follower.
  • Feedback – Let us know what you think, send us your comments about the app or the clubs.
  • FitFriends – Invite your contacts to become part of the FFC community. Create and join interest groups and connect with other members.

When downloading the app, you will choose a home club and can change locations at any time using the “Change Locations” tab in the drop down menu.

Drop Down Menu (orange tile at top left of screen):

  • Home – Back to main menu tile deck
  • Change locations – Allows you to pick another club.
  • Schedules – Build Your Schedule, touch the star to choose locations, instructors classes and add to personal calendars.
  • FitFriends – Same as tile deck feature above.
  • Announcements – Same as tile deck feature above.
  • Card – Same as tile deck feature above.
  • YouTube Channel – Same as tile deck feature above.
  • Book It – Same as tile deck feature above.
  • Contact Hours – Specific to the home club chosen.
  • Travel Pass – IHRSA club finder for when you are traveling.
  • Feedback – Same as tile deck feature above.
  • Notifications – Same as tile deck feature above.




Packed Lunch



Pack a Punch with Your Lunch

It’s that time of year again – back to school – and we think it’s time the old brown bag lunch got an upgrade. Whether your children (or you) are headed back to school, or you’re just stuck in a lunch rut, we’ve got some tips on how to make the most out of the lunch hour to leave you or your little one feeling revitalized and ready to take on the second half of the day.

Don’t skip the protein

Concentration goes out the window when we’re hungry. Protein-rich foods help us to feel fuller for longer periods of time, so incorporating them into lunch will help to ensure afternoon attentiveness.

What we recommend: lean meats (chicken, tuna salad), hard-boiled eggs and nut butters.

Get creative with vegetables

Chips and other salty snacks might be the side of choice for many, but they offer little to no nutrition. Vegetables, on the other hand, are chock-full of vitamins and minerals that help keep our bodies and minds healthy. If you have a picky eater on your hands, sneaking them in can be a great way to ensure vegetables are eaten. Try adding them to soups, sauces or macaroni, replacing tortilla wraps with lettuce leaves, or including some vegetables in homemade muffins.

What we recommend: carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery (with peanut butter!) or really any other vegetables!

Stick to whole fruits, avoid the juice

Juices can be full of sugar and artificial ingredients, and lack all of the fiber naturally found in fruit. Instead of a juice box, opt for a piece of whole fruit or a serving of berries instead.

What we recommend: apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, melon slices, peaches or really any other whole fruits!

Limit processed snacks

While they may be convenient, processed snacks such as cracker sandwiches, deli meats, prepackaged lunches and snack cakes are often void of nutrients and filled with unrecognizable ingredients, including chemicals and preservatives. Replace these foods with their more natural counterparts for a healthier and more wholesome side item or sweet treat.

What we recommend: whole grain crackers with string cheese, plain Greek yogurt with fruit, apples with peanut butter, vegetable sticks with hummus or homemade baked goods.

Keep it cool

If your lunch contains perishable items, keeping things cool is very important. If refrigeration is out of the question, you may need to add an ice pack to the bottom of your lunch box. This helps to keep food from spoiling and makes for a safer lunch experience.

What we recommend: reusable ice packs, insulated lunch bags or boxes.

Blog courtesy of Fitness Formula Club Registered Dietitian Carrie Linke, MS, RD, LDN. Contact Carrie at


Offer Extended!


Save $30 on a 3-Pack of airbrush tans… $99 (reg. $129)!* You loved it so much last month, we extended it for one more!  Call or visit your favorite Ortanic location for more information or book your appointment now.
*September 2014 only. Now through Oct. 31! May not be combined with other promotions or discounts. Non-transferable and may not be shared.

Fall Trends 2014

Fall is here!  It’s a little bittersweet, but there are so many new and fun trends that arrive with Autumn, especially when it comes to hair, makeup and nails.  With New York Fashion Week just behind us, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the most popular trends for the upcoming months, which make up my very favorite season!

Nails. The hottest beauty trends for Fall nails involve neutral tones, particularly beige, chocolate, nude and mocha. Choose a glossy polish for lighter colors and matte for darker hues. This will make it easy to match with outfits and accessories. Bottom line: Keep it simple!

Lips. The bolder the better! Deep reds and darker colors are the main hit for the season. This fall make your lips the main event. Attention grabbing lip colors and light makeup is the way to go .

Hair. Breathe a sigh of relief, ladies: having our hair up is finally a trend!  No more fussing with spray, pins or fancy ‘dos. Braids, buns and ponytails are all in, so feel free to throw your hair up and feel confident. Keep the style loose and beachy!

Accessories.  There is no better way to transform a basic outfit than with some jewelry. This is the season for accessories! Grab your biggest earrings or a chunky necklace, couple it with a black ensemble, and you have a simple, classy outfit which will last you all through the season!

Eyes.  Move over smokey eye liners and shadows and make way for the return of “winged” eyeliner! This is my particular favorite look and I have been rocking it all year long. Think 1960’s Hollywood Glam! It might be a little hard to learn at first, but one simple trick is to use a liquid eyeliner in deep black and hold your eye tautly closed as you apply. Check out how-to videos on YouTube.

Also this season anything that’s heavy on the black is in. So go to town on the eyeliner and full mascara… then add some more! Wear it with style and confidence.  Now’s the time!

Last bit of advice:  Don’t try to mix the deep red lipstick with the heavy black eyes. It’s best to stick to one or the other. Light eyes with dark lips, or dark lips with light eyes. And don’t forget to get your Ortanic tan!  Especially with all the dark colors in this season. Dark colors always look better on tan skin. Enjoy these wonderful trends and have fun!  Happy Fall!

Blog courtesy of Kat Maj, Ortanic Coordinator. Contact Kat at


Introducing FFC’s Signature Massage

Spa-Best-chicago-massage-gym-clubA customized 75-minute therapeutic massage treatment incorporating massage methods such as Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, Sports and more, to ensure results that address your specific needs. This treatment features hot packs and towels, balancing facial and scalp massage, and organic aromatherapy. A must-have treatment for anyone with chronic or acute pain and/or stress! Try it this month for just $95!*

Come in and help us celebrate our 30th Anniversary, Spa-Style! Try any one, or all, of these for just $30 each!

  • Spa Deluxe Pedicure
  • Massage Tune-Up (20 Minutes)
  • Mini-Facial (20 Minutes)

*Offer expires Sept. 30, 2014. May not be combined with other offers or discounts.

Falling Back Doesn’t Have to be So Tough

Sure, sure, we all love summer in Chicago. And who wouldn’t? We’ve got Cubs games, backyard parties, alfresco dining, kayaking on the river, fireworks at Navy Pier and volleyball at the lakefront beaches. But with a late start and a shortage of hot and sunny days, this summer definitely went by faster than usual.

Oh well, c’est la vie. It’s time to look ahead and hope that Autumn will bring appropriate crispness and all of its colorful, leafy goodness. Here is a list of suggestions to help you plan for the upcoming days, which will inevitably be shorter and cooler, and enjoy each and every day to its fullest.

Top 11 things to do in the fall that you won’t in the summer:

  1. Find quiet time indoors for DIY projects, reading, writing or even office work you’ve put off.

  2. Take walks during your lunch hour. Fall sun is amazing at 1 or 2 pm when the day is at its warmest, and with cooler temperatures you might not need a change of clothes afterward. So, get out there and enjoy 15 minutes soaking up some Vitamin D and taking a break from the computer.

  3. Reconnect with your favorite TV show. You know you’ve been waiting months for it to return to you, so put your feet up, hold out your arms with that remote and show your favorite characters some love. (Hello, Homeland, come to Mama)

  4. Join that Fantasy Football League. For the record, this is one I don’t know the first thing about it, but it sounds like fun…for you, I mean.

  5. Break out that roll-neck sweater you wore in college. Nostalgia and a cozy sweater are good for the soul!

  6. Cheat on your meal plan just a little, since no one will see you in a bathing suit for months. Plus, you can come inside and work it off at your favorite FFC club!

  7. Take advantage of the perfect-for-running cool weather to do your run outside, without dropping from the humidity or freezing in the cold.

  8. Cheer on Chicago Marathon runners. If you’re not participating this year, get out there and yell “Viva Peru” or “Go guy in the yellow shirt!” Believe me, those runners really appreciate it at any mile of the race.

  9. Enjoy some indoor “me-time” without the guilt. Head to the spa (great deals by the way, hint hint,, the movies, the Field Museum or do some shopping.

  10. Go to your children’s (if you have ‘em) plays, recitals, games, matches, etc. They’re only kids once, so grumble under your breath if you need to, but go watch, applaud and be proud.

  11. Dress up for Halloween and go to Thanksgiving Dinner with people you love and that make you laugh. Quality family time. Um, yes please!

Blog courtesy of Lisa Ellis, Regional Spa and Retail Manager. Contact Lisa at


Labor Day Hours 2014


This Labor Day, take advantage of your three-day weekend! Stop by your favorite FFC location for a workout or class before taking advantage of fun activities throughout the city (including the LAST weekend of Navy Pier classes and fireworks)! Scroll through to see an updated list of group class times, and click though the links below if you need ideas how to stay active, safe and happy all weekend!


Real Good Food



Keep it Real

Sometimes we forget that proper nutrition is as, if not more, important than exercise. If we want to be our healthiest, we can’t depend solely on working out. We need to remember to eat properly, get enough sleep and avoid stress, on top of staying active. That can seem like a lot to juggle, but it’s not impossible.

Did you know we dedicate an average of eight-and-a-half hours a week to eating and drinking, and only about two-and-a-half to exercising? That gives us nearly three times the opportunity to make healthy choices in the foods we put into our bodies. In the age of having anything and everything at our fingertips, we can forget that our food is raised, processed and distributed differently than it used to be. The use of chemicals and fillers in our food source has led to a surge of allergies and diseases that didn’t exist even 100 years ago.

The quality of our food, and our lives, decreases the farther we get from REAL, UNprocessed food. The average American drinks up to 38 gallons of soda per year, contributing to enough calories to gain 16 pounds.

FFC’s Registered Dietitians, Jessica Dogert, RD, LDN, CPT, and Carrie Linke, MS, RD, LDN, say that it’s important to keep in mind that we are meant to take in calories, and that the right food is a powerful medicine that can ease anxiety, enhance energy levels, boost immunity, help you sleep, boost brain power and heal our bodies.

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to eat healthy is cutting down on how much they are eating. Jessica says it’s not about eating less… it’s about eating smarter. You need to remember how important it is to give your body the nutrients it needs. Carrie says another mistake people make is following a “diet” rather than trying to make a lifestyle change. Nutrition is individualized, and what works for one person may not work for everyone. There are certainly universal truths about healthy eating, but everyone’s dietary needs are inevitably different, so educating yourself should be step number one before making any drastic changes.

When it comes to fitness, you can’t hope to PR your next half marathon if all you’ve been doing is running, without paying attention to what you’ve been eating. Jessica reminds us that food can greatly enhance, and also hinder, athletic performance. Carrie reiterates that we need energy in order to sustain any sort of activity, in the gym or otherwise, and that food provides that fuel. Eating what’s right for you before a workout can give you the boost you need to push harder throughout, while eating the right foods afterward will help repair your metabolism-boosting muscles and reduce fatigue. Proper nutrition is the key to keeping us energized and healthy. Period.

Motivation to succeed is all you need! Carrie says sometimes we hit roadblocks on our way to accomplishing our goals, and that having an accountability partner allows us to check in with someone who can offer encouragement, motivation and support, helping us stay committed. Jessica says it is her passion to inspire others to fuel their bodies with real foods so they can fuel their purpose in life. Our certified, experienced, passionate dieticians want to be your sidekick in helping you reach your overall health goals, and know you will, without a doubt, feel a difference once you experience real food on a regular basis!

Jessica and Carrie, both registered dietitians (RD), want us to remember that while every RD is a nutritionist, not every nutritionist is an RD. Look for the right credentials for advice you can trust!

Guest blog by Allie Kuopus, Marketing Assistant. Contact Jessica at and Carrie at